The knife attack took place near the Basilica of Notre-Dame de l’Assomption in Nice around 9 am on Thursday, October 29. Three people were killed, two women and a man, according to police sources in World. The perpetrator was shot and injured. According to the same sources, he was urgently taken to hospital.
The first victim, a woman, had her throat cut inside the building. The second victim, a man, was fatally stabbed. According to the Mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, she would act as the guardian of the building. The third victim died in the bar in front of the basilica where she took refuge.
Upset by 3 victims, 2 of whom died in #NotreDame Basilica, and in particular a guardian if … https://t.co/2VGR1MvNSX
It was the municipal police that intervened first on the scene, seconded by the national police. Police were immediately dispatched from the demining unit to check for the absence of an explosive device. There is also a large security zone around the basilica on Avenue Jean-Médecin.
The National Counter-Terrorism Prosecutor’s Office (PNAT) has announced that it has taken over the investigation, open to “Murder and attempted murder in connection with a terrorist venture” and “Criminal terrorist association”. It was entrusted to the central management of the judicial police and the general management of internal security (DGSI).
The Beauvau crisis unit, Emmanuel Macron goes to Nice
Gérald Darmanin, Minister of the Interior, announced on Twitter hold “Crisis meeting”the place of Beauvau. Prime Minister Jean Castex left the National Assembly, where he was in the context of debates on new health measures to combat the Covid-19 epidemic, to go to the Ministry’s crisis unit inside.
“Once again, in the very difficult circumstances that our country is going through, in the difficulties it is going through, I can only call on the entire national team to unity and cohesion”the head of government told deputies before promising he would “Everything is possible” to then return to the hemicycle. In reacting to this announcement, Members remained silent for a minute and suspended the sitting briefly. For their part, the senators also watched a moment of meditation this morning before the more solemn tribute to be paid to them this afternoon.
LIVE | # COVID19: statement by Prime Minister @JeanCastex to the National Assembly. https://t.co/THZiXn0sUG
After passing through the crisis unit, Emmanuel Macron must travel to Nice in the early afternoon, at the scene of the attack, Elysee announced. The President of the Republic will be accompanied by the Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin, the Minister of Justice Eric Dupont-Moretti, Jean François Ricard, head of the national anti-terrorist prosecutor’s office, and Monsignor de Moulin Beaufort, president of the French Bishops’ Conference. He will also meet the Mayor of Nice (Les Républicains, LR), Christian Estrosi, as well as deputies Cédric Roussel and Eric Ciotti.
Numerous political reactions
Christian Estrosi commented on the events on Twitter : “Thirteen days after Samuel Paty, our country can no longer be satisfied with the peaceful laws of annihilating Islamofascism. “ Reaction to the debate on the legal framework for the fight against terrorism, which was at the center of the discussion following the assassination of Samuel Pata.
Eric Ciotti, Member of Parliament (LR) for Alpes-Maritimes, was warned of the attack when he entered the House. For him, voting on new health measures is “Unreal in context”. “Voting on measures already taken is unrealistic in the context, at this point of emotion”, considers the chosen one. “The whole southern region stands next to the people of Nice”, said the president (LR) of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region, Renaud Muselier.
Many politicians reacted as well. From the President of the National Rally (RN), Marine Le Pen, which called “Protect Islamist Ideology to the Harm”, the leader of La France insoumise (LFI), Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who he voiced “Emotional solidarity with the Catholics of France”, through the mayor of Paris (Socialist Party, PS), Anne Hidalgo, who ensured this “The inhabitants of Nice and Nice, as well as the mayor of Estrosi, can count on the support of the city of Paris”.
The French Bishops’ Conference (CEF) announced on Thursday Agence France-Presse (AFP) that the death bell would ring in the churches of France at 3pm in tribute to the victims.
An attack that resembles a Conflans-Sainte-Honorine attack
The modus operandi necessarily resembles the attack by the Islamists in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine (Yvelines) on October 16. The first victim in Nice was murdered by the alleged perpetrator. Two weeks earlier, Abdouallakh Anzorov beheaded Samuel Paty, professor of history and geography.
The Nice attack also resembles two other attacks by Islamists. The one that took place in the same city on July 14, 2016, Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel murdered 86 people and injured 458 others. Behind the wheel of a truck, he fell into the crowd at the Promenade des Anglais to celebrate the fireworks scheduled for the National Day before being shot by the police. It is also reminiscent of the attack that already took place in the church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray (Seine-Maritime), a few days after the attack in Nice, on July 26, 2016. Adel Kermiche and Abdel Malik Petitjean stabbed and killed Father Jacques Hamel in heart of the convent and seriously injured his parishioner before taking three people hostage. They were shot by the police.
Update, October 29 at 11:20: the initial death toll, which was three killed and a few wounded, was adjusted to simply indicate three killed.